Generally speaking, I like to listen to classical music when I’m writing or driving. Amazon has great deals on classical collections so I can create playlists where none of the songs are less than ten minutes in length. I can put some miles down behind me at ten minutes a song. I lock the cruise control down and turn up the sound. There are plots to be hashed out and many more chapters to write before I put the truck in park again. Actually, I drive a stick. There isn’t a park to put the truck in.
There’s a folder on my jump that contains all of Beethoven’s Symphonies. All are good, so very good, but I like the Ninth best. The last time I went to Mom’s house I started out with the First and by the time I got home I was near the Ninth. The whole day passed with one composer and it was glorious. I can write that way, too. Give me a few hours of long songs and something to write. And now, at this very moment while I’m writing, I have something else that needs to be written. I can feel it. It’s there but not yet, not yet, not yet, but it is there.
It’s an odd thing. Sometimes writing is like being with a woman you know is going to make love to you, but not tonight. You have no idea why she’s waiting or what she’s waiting for, but you have to let her say yes on her terms or it’s not going to be right. You realize there’s a tipping point where she isn’t going to say no but at the same time, it’s still not the same as the woman telling you yes. You know her well enough by now to know what she likes and how much she likes it, but you realize at some level that’s like getting her too drunk on a wine she loves. At that moment, when her body is overriding both her heart and her mind, if there is any blood left in your own head, you have to slowly back away, let the heat subside as slowly as it was built up, and allow the moment to be what it is, and what it isn’t. She’ll go to the bathroom, take a few deep breaths, get everyone dried off, give herself a stern talking to, and then come out and suggest the two of you get upright and do something less heady. All the while she’ll be wondering if she should have stopped, if she should have stopped going where everything she owned wanted her to go, and after you leave she’ll take a shower and wish you were still there with her. All of that is much better than the woman waking up the next morning and wondering if you both moved too quickly into the fire and wondering of she’ll get burned.
The parts of the story haven’t come together yet but they’re getting there and this, even this, is helping put things in place. There’s a character who is missing. There is someone else who is supposed to be there who serves some purpose, a woman, yes, see this is what I’m talking about, that woman, she hasn’t arrived, and today she’ll be formed out of the clay I’ll be given while I talk to people. I know who I want to talk to today and find out more about her, and I’ll form this woman from another. For there to be evil there has to be good destroyed. There has to be someone who did something right and someone else did something wrong. It appeals to our basic instinct of fairness for there to be punishment to fit the crime.
There are times a writer reaches out for something and when it arrives there is far too much to be dealt with immediately.
(at this point I stopped and went to the Adoption Event, yesterday, and today began again)
There’s a woman I know who I will form into the story, parts of her, because I don’t know her very well, but she is perfect for the part. Or parts of her are perfect for part of the story. I like the way she looks, beautiful without the fanfare that some women have to have when they are in public, and I can see the scene perfectly in my mind now, the villain seeking redemption from a woman he wronged, and she acknowledging the crime but moving past it. It’s irrelevant to her if he’s redeemed or not. She has a life and will live and sends him on his way to live his own. The power he had over her is gone and now he realizes that what he has lost is both larger and beyond his ability to repair.
Yes, this is the scene I have been waiting for. This is the character. She will be sitting at a table, smoking a cigarette, still trying to quit, and she’s putting the final touches on a drawing for a tattoo. He talked her into having his name inked on her body but she’s covered it, obliterated his name and in its place is a memorial for someone who truly loved her. He can’t compete with that. He can’t compete with love.
I actually spoke to the woman yesterday and told her I wanted to write her into this story and she seemed flattered. It’s not like the people we both know will recognize her but there are people who I’ve borrowed before. Most would not be flattered, you know.
So today I crank up the music, and find some time to write. The story isn’t totally here yet but enough has arrived for me to get started. I think today will be violins, yes, stringed inspiration, and a lot of it. The music of masters long dead but never forgotten will once again echo through the house as people in real life become compilations and people never real are born of imagination.